Cricut vs. Silhouette

Cricut vs. Silhouette

A few of you know that I sold my Cricut Expression this year and purchased a Silhouette Cameo. I ADORE my new machine and have not regretted my decision once! I have been asked a few times why I made the choice to switch to, so here goes my review, all opinions are my own:   


Cricut  vs.  Silhouette: 10 Things about the two!
*at the bottom of this post you will find a quick comparison chart

1) I rarely used my Cricut, it was hard for me to locate an image I wanted to use because I had to go through each of the books for each cartridge. I also felt that the images were a little bit juvenile, better for little kids. Honestly, I used my Cricut the most when cutting out images for my kids to play with or make pictures and posters. It was perfect for their school projects. But, it was overwhelming for me to thumb through each book searching for a cartridge and so many of the images in each cartridge were duplicated over and over, like flowers, circles, butterflies, birds, etc.

2) Each Cricut cartridge is really expensive and I felt that with the duplication of images I was paying for cartridges with the same types of images over and over. I would buy a cartridge just because it had one image, like a bracket, I wanted and then I would end up with a ton of images I never used.

3) Silhouette is great because I can purchase each image a la cart and only pay for what I am actually going to use. Plus I don’t have to go to the store or get online and order cartridges, I just log on and buy the image on my lap top and have it to use right away. The images are about a dollar a piece and they even have memberships where you pay a very nominal fee and you get a certain dollar amount of  images you can download per month. Like $10 buys you $25 worth of images every month. Awesome! The images store in my Silhouette Design Studio and I can organize them into folders however I want in order to find them again easily. They are constantly adding new images keeping them current and up to date.

4) I did not use the Cricut Design software because I felt it was hard to use and not very easy to understand. Because of this I could never see what I was cutting out with my Cricut. It was always just a guessing game and I would get frustrated at not being able to design and manipulate my images and words before I cut them. I threw away a lot of paper and vinyl because of this.

5) I love, love, love the Silhouette Design Studio!! It is amazing what you can do with each image. You can separate the image into pieces and just use portions of the image, ex. a flower, instead of cutting out the whole flower you could separate all the parts and just cut a petal. I know, that just blew your mind right!! It did mine for sure, I have only been using my Silhouette for a few months and am still learning amazing stuff it can do, the possibilities are as endless as my imagination! You see everything before you cut it and this way I don’t waste anything and can use up every scrap and area on my paper/vinyl.

6) The Silhouette has a cut and print feature where you print it on you color printer and then cut it on your Silhouette. This is great, the printer puts registration marks on your image which helps you to line it up for cutting on your Silhouette. The Cricut has a product that prints and cuts on the same machine but again the cartridges are expensive, unless you use their design studio you can’t see what you are cutting, and their ink cartridges are uber expensive! Both machines have pens/markers you can insert instead of a blade to draw the image or words instead of cutting them, love it!

7) Let’s “cut” to the chase and talk about “cutting”! Since you are buying either machine to CUT things out, how do they compare? The Silhouette is FAR BETTER than the Cricut. It cuts things that are more intricate and smaller than anything the Cricut can do. I have cut things on my silhouette that my Cricut would have shredded. The Silhouette is far superior in this area as far as I am concerned. After being so used to the Cricut’s limitations I am blown away by the small and tiny and detailed things I can successfully cut now!

8) I love that with the Silhouette I can cut ANY font on my computer. With Cricut you have to buy font cartridges. Yuck!

9) Size and Weight comparison: They are about the same length, but the Silhouette is far lighter than the Cricut. But in order to use the Silhouette you have to have your computer, with the Cricut that is not the case, you can  use it on it’s own. This only makes a difference for me if I am traveling to a crop or crafting event, but honestly I would much rather deal with lugging around my laptop in order to use my Silhouette than dealing with the frustrations of using the Cricut. And, hauling around cartridges is awful, my lap top is much easier to pack around. I also like that I do not have to keep space in my craft room to store all those cartridges.

10) I love all the additional products that Silhouette sells. Like heat transfer material, sketch pens in all colors including metallics, they even sell fabric and interfacing that you can cut and more! So many fun products that make for fun projects!

Silhouette vs Cricut

If you are on the fence and trying to decide which one to buy I think it is fairly obvious from this review which one I would suggest! I would tell you to buy the Silhouette, hands down I think it is the better option. When I sit down to use my Silhouette it inspires me to create instead of making me want to stop crafting because I am frustrated. I am SO glad that I made the switch and I am excited to keep sharing all the fun things I discover about the Silhouette!!

Here is the comparison chart for details at a quick glance.

Cricut vs. Silhouette

For more information on the Cameo and it’s specs, go HERE

For more information on the Expression and it’s specs, go HERE

Read About Me!

You might also like...

63 Responses to Cricut vs. Silhouette

  • I’ve been back and forth between the Cricut Air and the Silhouette Cameo and am more confused than ever. I struggle with detailed, hard to understand computer editing jargon. One YouTube video I watched talked of the ease this gentleman has using his Silh machine after creating images on his CAD program! Way out of my league. In many ways I like features from both of them, but I am not an Apple fan and after failed attempts with an iPhone and iPad, I quickly went home to Android. Siri and I were never going to be close friends. That said, I understand Silh. has an Android app where Cricut Air requires an iPad or iPhone to access their app. I was learning towards Silh at that point. Then I read Silh is much more difficult and complicated to use than the Air.
    I read later that the Silh is very difficult to use due to the stickiness of the mats (too sticky), people struggle with cutting into the mats, and difficult, intense instructions. Is this true?

    I have a family member that will be using it, but struggles with a brain injury. I am concerned the Silh software may be too difficult/confusing.

    Which of the two machines is most user friendly?

    Which of the two (if either) cuts out a photograph to use as a vinyl wall deco?

    My scissors is becoming more and more appealing.

    Thank you.
    A grandmother with diminishing brain cells.

  • I must apologize first, I didn’t have time to read through everyone’s comments and questions, so you may have covered this already. Do you use your silhouette to cut stencils, and if so, what materials do you use to make the stencils and how do they fair? I have read a thousand or more excellent reviews on the cameo, however, one was a negative based on its use for cutting stencils to paint on various items. This would be my main use for the machine, but $300 is a lot to invest in something your unsure will work. I have priced industrial machines, but this hobby is not worth $500-$1200 down to me. Any suggestions/recommendations are appreciated 🙂

  • I have used a Cameo for about 3 years. Love mine! Love using so many free files and all the fonts on my computer.

  • If you’re going to attempt to create a somewhat professional review, and put time and effort into doing so… I suggest you at least ATTEMPT to use correct grammar and sentence structure. It’s very hard to read for anyone who understands HOW to read.

    • Spencer, get the stick out of your butt. This is a personal blog, and she can write however she pleases. I speak fluent English, and I know HOW to read, and I had no trouble understanding this post. FYI If you were such a grammar pro, you would understand the concept of dialects and slang. I would hope your ability to read, and your implied level of intelligence would afford you the skills to decipher this basic text. But, since you brought up time and effort, let me finish with this piece of advice. If you are going to cry about grammar on the internet, and on PERSONAL blogs, then maybe you should put some time and effort into staying your grumpy self off of the internet. and I hope I thoroughly entertained/annoyed you with my grammar… and by starting my sentences with ‘and’ and ‘but’… and by using incorrect quotation marks! I figured you would appreciate that. Yay for incorrect grammar and living life on the edge!!!!


    • … Soo…. You work for Cricut, do you?

  • Can you use PDF files to cut? can you cut felt?

  • I am having ALOT of trouble with my Cameo.
    I’m definitely not a pro but I have used it a handful of times before and had no issues.
    When I am trying to cut using no registration marks it wouldn’t load.. (which usually lets me manually load the mat into the machine)
    Once it finally did cut, it went straight through the mat! (it said a thickness was 33 and blade was 4 for plain card stock seemed a little off)
    Also, when it was cutting a plastic screw piece from the top of the blade flung off and the edges were so JAGGED in the cut!

    Do you have any ideas on what I did wrong. I am new with this machines so was just looking for answers.
    This is the first time I have ever had these issues and I’ve been having it since Christmas.

    Please do not take this comment as a negative review for the Cameo.
    I just need Silhouette Cameo 091 classes lol

  • I have the black screen/blue light problem with my Gypsy. I have over 100 cartridges loaded. I’ve called Provo Craft twice and they’ve informed me that, because I live in Canada, I can’t send them my Gypsy for repair. Also, if I were to buy a new one, I can’t send them the two to have the cartridges loaded onto the new on. They tell me that they can only ship to a US address. Why can they SELL it here but can’t ship a repaired one back here? Grrrr. So I’m doing some Googling and trying to decide if it’s worth finding someone with a US address that will play post office for me or if I toss my Cricut and buy a Silhouette. I’ve given all of my cartridges to my daughter who lives a fair drive away so sharing cartridges isn’t doable. Honestly, I think the fact that I didn’t even turn on the Cricut or Gypsy in over a year should answer my own question. Btw, all of my cartridges are registered. “I’m sorry, ma’am, there’s nothing we can do”. Advice?

  • Hey Britany, great review! I’m looking into this machine for my wedding invitations…specifically wanting to make a “hinged” invite like a regular card but with one side in a cut iron gate design. From your experience, do you think this machine could do that with the software, etc.? Thanks for your help!!!!

  • will the silhouette cut out a photo (jpeg) image?

  • Thank you for this post! I recently converted from a cricut to a silhouette and my life has become 200% easier! Provo Craft, the maker of Cricut, have some big issues to overcome. First, their customer service is only open during hours many of us aren’t crafting. This is an issue. Also, if you are like many of us the first (or second) new machine you receive isn’t going to work properly. So after you purchase this brand new machine and spend the money, expect to wait 4-6 weeks before getting one that will actually work. Cricut also seems to think that launching new machines is the answer to addressing issues with older models. Don’t expect an update to the one your currently have, expect to shell out cash for the newer model.

    I *tried* to use my cricut daily! I make sale signs and announcements for my business. It was the biggest waste of money I have ever experienced. The silhouette opened up doors for me cricut never would have. Has saved me money in materials and time. I will never look back!

  • Really great article. I am actually debating if I should get the new Cricut Explore or Cameo. I tried Cuicut today and it does not really cut the thin paper through. I wasted so many thin paper until teacher told me to use the thick paper. Will that happen to Cameo as well?

    • Hi Jean! Glad you found my post helpful 🙂 I am jealous that you have gotten to try the new cricut explore. I haven’t had a chance to use that machine yet but from what I hear from other blogger friends and from what I have read it sounds really amazing. It should cut through thin paper. hmmm, not sure about that one. With the Cameo the thinnest paper I have cut is butcher paper which is pretty thin and it did just fine. Hope this helps!

  • Can you tell me what’s the difference between the cameo vs. portrait?

    • The only difference between the cameo and portrait is size. The Cameo cuts up to 12 inch widths and the Portrait cuts up to 8 inch widths. Hope that helps! 🙂

    I spent a ton of money on the Cricut Imagine and cartridges/supplies and have had nothing but problems. The machine only works half the time, it doesn’t work with the Cricut Craft Room, and the customer service is terrible! I have had to call several times and each time I’m put on hold for a half hour or more and every time I am only given half-answers and temporary “solutions” to my problems. The support employees do not know anything about the product, they just read from scripts! I was transferred to the “Craft Room” section and the woman couldn’t even open CCR on her end! She couldn’t even open the only program her support section is responsible for! I was transferred yet again to a guy that spent an hour trying to solve my problem – he took over my computer remotely and everything – and still couldn’t figure it out. He promised to email me the next day with a solution and he NEVER did. Even after I emailed him back several times asking about it, I still got nothing. I have put in several comments on their “contact us” webpage and each time they say you can expect a response within 5-7 business days but I have NEVER received a response. Provo Craft does not care about their customers. Their “support” is a joke. They just take your money and run! DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON CRICUT / PROVO CRAFT!!

  • Hi Britany, thank you for writing this blog…it was very insightful! I have had a cricut for many years now and bought a Gypsy a few years ago to expand the use of my cricut. I was never a fan of the design studio because I am a crafter on the go. I don’t like being tied to my computer when I am crafting or scrapbooking, especially since most of my scrapbooking is out of my home. With all that said, I am at my wits end with my Gypsy, which is what I love most about using my cricut…being able to manipulate the images I want to cut. However, I dropped my Gypsy and broke the power cord to where it go stuck in the machine. I had to not only buy a NEW Gypsy, but send both back so they can download all my cartridges from the old Gypsy to the new one. Then, they sent it back to me and it still didn’t work, so I had to send it back again. Now, everytime I use my Gypsy, the interface freezes up on me and Provocraft is telling me there is nothing they can do. UGH! So, my question to you, before I work on convincing my husband to let me spend MORE more on my obsessive hobby, is how easy is the software to use with a tablet instead of a laptop? I’m just wondering if there is another option for me besides lugging around my laptop to an all day crop. 🙂

    • Karie, oh my goodness. How frustrating!!! I am so sorry that you have had such a TIME of it with your Gypsy! The Silhouette software you DO have to use on your computer. As far as I know you can’t use it on a tablet or other device. Maybe that is something they will work on for the future. It is a pretty complex piece of software, I am not sure how that would work on a tablet with no mouse. Might be too hard to use. You can always call Silhouette or email them and ask about the possibility. Every time I have contacted them they have been super helpful. Here is the contact link: http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/support GOOD LUCK with whatever you decide to do and I hope you talk your husband into it!!! {wink}

      • I am new to my cameo, but I belong to a Facebook group where lots of people share Silhouette tips and project info and there is a way to use an iPad or tablet. I also saw a video on YouTube about it. You just have to download an app to do it. The Facebook group is called The Happy SIL Site and the lady’s name who had the info was Kay Hall. I think her YouTube channel is called Clever Someday.

        • Cindy- I searched for the happy sil site on fb but was not successful. Would you happen to know the name of the app for ipads?

    • I too have the gypsy and the same problems with it! I never use the circuit because it is a learning experience everything I want to do something. I tried ll the computer stuff with the cricit as well. All that to say, i bought the smaller silhouette and I LOVE it! I took it out of the box, set it up in a few seconds and was making a card, easy easy within MINUTES! All the fonts on my computer, and the free ones are easy. I am not sorry other than I wasted so LONG with the cricut and the money on the cartridges that I felt were so bloody complicated I NEVER used them…YOU wont be sorry, get it, and the small one is great, you DONT need the 12 by 12, ..just my opnion

  • Wow you just read my mind with everything I was needing to know… I am going to go with the cameo but question… Do you know if I Can I upload my own PDF file with an image that I need cutout? I’m really so new with all this. So excited thgh

  • Okay I just received my Silhouette Cameo & am having trouble with printing to my regular printer… Please HELP!!!

  • I am switching from a cricut expression using scal and want to know how i can use my saved scut. files in my silhouette soft ware? Thanks for all the useful info here.

    • You are very welcome for the collected info, glad you found it helpful:) As far as using your saved scut.files I do not think that you can. I read a couple articles on this and that is the info I found. That type of file is not compatible with the Silhouette software as far as anything I have read. Hope that helps, let me know if you find out anything different. Good luck!

  • Can I use any of the images on my cartridges with the Silhouette?

    • Tiffany, if you are talking about your cricut cartridges, then unfortunately the answer is no. None of them are compatible with the Silhouette. However, you can use any font on your computer on the Silhouette and they have an online store you can buy images individually for really inexpensive. I like buying my images one at a time instead of purchasing a whole cartridge just to use only a few images from it.

  • Brittany,
    I have MAC will the Silhouette work on it? Or will I need a PC?

  • Looking for best one to cut fabric letters, etc. ? Want my pretty savvy 13y/o to use also. Can u create a design that is your drawing and create image with either of these?

    • Barb I would say the Silhouette is hands down the best I have used for cutting fabric. You will need the fabric interfacing that silhouette sells in order to make your fabric a little stiffer so it can cut it. You can also turn your own image into a design you can cut with the Silhouette using their silhouette studio designer edition. It is an additional purchase to the software that comes with your Silhouette but it has lots more options including turning a drawing into a compatible image.

  • I heard that the mat size is only a size of legal paper for the Silhouette & a cricket cuts on a 12×12 mat & a 12×24

    • Erica, there are several sizes of Cricut machines and Silhouette machines. The Silhouette Portrait only cuts up to a width of 8 inches, the Silhouette Cameo however can cut up to 12 inches. Cricut also has smaller machines and larger machines with varying maximum cutting sizes. The smaller machines are always a little cheaper. Hope that helps!

  • okay I now hate the fact that I bought a Larger Cricut and not a silhouette….Thanks for taking the time make this post …

    • Oh no Sheryl! The Cricut is a great machine too, I had one for a lot of years! But you can always sell it 🙂 You are very welcome:) Hope whatever machine you use you end up making some FUN stuff!

  • Is the silhouette kid friendly. I would like to use it and also my ten year old? Or would the cricut be better for them?

    • Elizabeth, some people think that the Cricut does have a more user friendly interface since you don’t have to use computer software to cut anything. In my opinion, I think your 10 year old could use either machine after some training from you. I think that the Silhouette is a superior machine, but I do think it would take more time to train your 10 year on using it vs the Cricut. But…having said that, for the money I believe you would be happier with the Silhouette, so, you just have to decide what is most important to you. I hope that helps 🙂 Good Luck on your decision.

  • This was a very helpful comparison. Thank you for taking the time.

  • How is the silhouette with stencils? I want to paint wood and walls and stencil inspirationall sayings

  • Hi Britany, On the Silhouette, how/can you cut any picture/shape out you find online? I saw your comment on print and cut, ie. if I wanted to cut out the state of Georgia and i found one in google images i liked, would the silhouette be able to cut it out without a special purchased image? Thank you for your advices.

  • I just read your review…..thank you! I collected many many Cricut cartridges as well as the family of machines…..after one crop with a Silhouette user I was sold! In the first week of owning my Silhouette, I used it more than I had ever used any or all of the Cricut machines and cartridges…..you do need to be a little computer savvy to navigate around the Silhouette mat and program but if you are familiar with Microsoft Office, the same shortcuts apply….I am amazed at the intricate cuts my Silhouette can do and the ease of operation!!! The customer service is fantastic!!! No question is left unanswered!
    I was lucky enough to be able to sell all my Cricut machines and cartridges on Ebay but at a great loss….at least I am USING my Silhouette…..with the money I have saved on cartridges, I can have a dedicated laptop just for the Silhouette! I highly recommend signing up for a monthly subscription for Silhouette designs…..it is a bargain and there are new designs weekily…as well as a free design each week!

    • Hi Alexandra! Thank you so much for your comment! It is readers like you that make blogging so AWESOME! I am glad you love your Silhouette, it really is such a fantastic machine right! I would love to see projects you create! Do you have a blog?

  • This makes me want to buy a Sillhouette! I actually am finding more and more things that I wish I had cute vinyl lables for….

  • A couple questions about the Sillhouette, can you save things from internet to software program and use program without being on Internet?
    Thank you. Cheryl

    • Cheryl, great question! That really depends on what type of images you are talking about saving from the internet. I know you can save several different types of images and digital scrapbook papers to the Silhouette Studio. I have never done it but I searched on youtube and there are lots of videos to walk you through the process step by step for all different types of files. I just typed in “import files to silhouette” and hit search. Silhouette also sells a designer edition of their software that has even more design options if that is what you are interested in. I really just use the images silhouette has to offer and have not ventured outside of that. But, yes, once you import any image from the internet to your studio you will no longer need the internet to access it as it will be stored in a folder within your silhouette software, you can even create a new folder to store only these images. I hope this answered your question, if not let me know and I will see if I can answer it or help you track down an answer!

      • Thank you, that is what I wondered. I have Cricut expression and gypsy which I use all the time, however my gypsy is about to die and for me to have it repaired isn’t worth it and Cricut craft room I have to be on Internet and I work off a hot spot and am limited. That’s why I’m thinking Sillhouette is the answer for me to pull images from Internet and use on the program. Thank you for the information, I will check out YouTube. I cut vinyl sayings all the time and cartridges limit me for fonts.

        • You are so welcome, I glad I could help. I think you will be seriously AMAZED at the options on the silhouette studio, plus being able to use fonts from your computer is awesome, limitless possibilities there!! Here are 2 links, one to Silhouete’s blog and one to their youtube channel, I use both all the time. There are TONS of great tutorials and projects. So much information, I love that their tutorials have step by step screen shots of the studio software as they go. check it out, it may help you make your decision. Good Luck!

          • Thank you! When talking to Provo craft about my options w my gypsy, I mentioned changing to the silhouette and their respond was they have heard the quality of the expressionis is so much better.

Leave a Reply

  • Bloglovin'
The DIY Dreamer

Sugar Bee Crafts